Category Archives: Urban scene

Halifax goes Mediterranean

Saturday 27th May 2023, 10.45am (day 4,293)

Piece Hall, sunshine, 27/5/23

Mediterranean weather today, for sure — very pleasant. More of this weather, please — or will we get the June monsoon this year? I think the Piece Hall, restored a few years ago, also affects a kind of Mediterranean vibe, with its resemblance to a Roman forum. Either way, she was happy enough about being photographed, hence the wave.

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The Coach Party

Friday 26th May 2023, 4.40pm (day 4,292)

Coach party, 26/5/23

The sun is out, and Coach Party Season has opened in Hebden Bridge. QR codes now appear in local shop windows that help such visitors find locations from Happy Valley (despite the fact that most of it was not filmed here). Trinkets are bought. Some pints consumed, perhaps. Then everyone files back onto the bus and goes somewhere else. I picked this shot today just because I like the guy in the middle, caught in some cosmic revelation. Perhaps he has just seen Sarah Lancashire ascending to heaven.

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Police line, do not cross

Monday 22nd May 2023, 8.50am (day 4,288)

Police line, 22/5/23

I walk past this car park every time I come into Manchester, as it lies on the route between my office and Victoria station. That it was cordoned off by the police this morning was notable enough. But as it happened, after last night’s gig we had stayed in the hotel that is built literally on top of it: which made it a little strange, wondering what had been going on below while we slept overnight. I’m not dwelling on it — all was gone again by the afternoon so it can’t have been that serious. Reportage over photographic quality today.

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House view with clouds

Thursday 11th May 2023, 12.20pm (day 4,277)

Storm cloud view, 11/5/23

This summed up the weather today: some fine spells but the next bout of rain was never very far away. It also sums up the fact that I was at home and am going to remain here for much of the next eight weeks, so get used to photos of Hebden Bridge.

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The Duke’s permanent adornment

Monday 8th May 2023, 10.25am (day 4,274)

Duke of Wellington statue, 8/5/23

This statue of the Duke of Wellington stands in Glasgow, and since the 1980s has famously been adorned, a lot of the time anyway, by a traffic cone. Not specifically this cone, as until fairly recently the city council would dutifully remove each one as it appeared, but another would invariably return not long after. More recently everyone seems to have decided that this ‘tradition’ is not only harmless, but actually interesting and ‘ironic’ in a sort of postmodern way. Local Glaswegian sense of humour, ho ho, isn’t it quaint. I saw a guide going on about it to a group of tourists today, for heaven’s sake.

However, I think what it really is, and certainly what it started as, is pure mockery of the rich and powerful, and of Authority generally, and frankly I think we would benefit from a lot more of this kind of thing — particularly after the weekend just gone. The horse’s jauntier crown can be read a little differently, perhaps.

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Mural, Cowdenbeath

Saturday 6th May 2023, 2.00pm (day 4,272)

Cowdenbeath mural, 6/5/23

Cowdenbeath, a little town in Fife, offered various entertainments as an excuse to break today’s journey up to Dundee. One that was unanticipated before I got there was a series of really excellent, and huge, murals that decorate the town centre. This one is remarkably good. Look at the sense of focus, and hence realism, that the artist has achieved. Those trucks look absolutely solid. Would that I could get things in focus like that, sometimes.

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Ballot bin

Friday 5th May 2023, 2.50pm (day 4,271)

Ballot bin, 5/5/23

These have appeared around Canal Street in Manchester, three or four of them with different choices inscribed on each — another reads “I’d rather have true love/megabucks”. This one lent itself best to documentation, however. I notice the ‘half empty’ optional seems to be winning, slightly. Although it always strikes me that the answer to this question in fact depends not on one’s innate optimism level but on whether the glass in question was currently being filled, or drained.

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Behemoth, Keighley Road

Tuesday 2nd May 2023, 1.05pm (day 4,268)

Oversized truck, 2/5/23

I’ve lived on this road for nearly twenty-two years now. Look at its characteristics narrow, steep uphill, winding course, and the residents have nowhere else to park cars other than on the side. It’s manifestly unsuited for huge container lorries — not to mention the fact that on the other side of the hill (namely Oxenhope), all the characteristics are repeated. Yet still they come, waving a sat-nav as evidence of their rights. And then we wonder why it needs repairing every few years.

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Design versus usage

Monday 1st May 2023, 12.25pm (day 4,267)

Design v usage, 1/5/23

I’m not really going for the aesthetics today: rather, this is the kind of educational image I might show my students one of these days. The path on the right is the design, but on the left, we see usage; a sign the two do not always coincide.

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Blossom season

Sunday 30th April 2023, 3.00pm (day 4,266)

Blossom in town, 30/4/23

I guess Spring is trying, a bit, and the blossom at the bottom of Keighley Road in town usually makes for a fine display at this time of year. With this being the first of three three-day holiday weekends coming up in May, there was also a general sense of relaxation about the day.

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